Is sitting the new smoking at the office?
New research shows that sitting in front of your computer can be just as bad as smoking cigarettes. The time constraints in our work days compared to exercise and the lack of freedom to leave the office has resulted in many people dropping their fitness routines.
But, if you’re at your desk for 4-6 hours like most office workers, check out these simple tips to improve your health from the seat of your desk.
Improve Your Health at the Office
- Always within reach: It seems crazy, but people have caused injuries to their joints, especially their neck, from having things out of position. All items should be within reach, including you keyboard, phone, pens, etc., that you use on a daily or hourly basis to avoid a strain or pain in the neck.
- Keep your eye on it: With computer screens being a norm in offices, make sure your desktop monitor is positioned where you have minimized glare and eye strain. A simple tipping of the screen or raising it a few inches can save your neck and back as well as a possible headache from eye strain.
- Don’t be a slacker: Sitting tall in your chair on the front edge of your seat will make you engage more of your core muscles rather than relying on the skeletal structure. Your earlobes should be on top of your collar bones, ribs, and hips with feet placed flat on the ground. Take off your heels at your desk to relax the calf muscles to aide in a better seated, active posture.
- Over and over: Many chronic pains stem from repeptitive movements. As the runner experiences shin splints from improper muscle balance and repetitive movement, an office worker can have elbow or neck pain from simply moving a mouse. Try to place your mouse pad in different spots on your desk on alternate days of the week and stretch out those wrists at least once an hour.
- Breaks aren’t just for coffee: Although the term "coffee break" has been noted to get up and get a cup of coffee, getting up in general is a good practice. It changes the circulation patterns and gives the body a chance to increase blood flow. Stand and perform a few stretches while you’re up as well. Place your hands on the door frame and press your body forward to open your chest musclse and releive tension on the neck. Plus, these breaks will minimize fatigue and can help to revitalize your focus.
- Type lightly: Belieive or not, that hard striking on your keypad can cause wrist strain and forearm pain. Think of lightly tapping on the keys and keep forearms aligned with your wrists.
Simple office practices like those noted above can help make your work life a healthier experience. What is your office doing to help you live your best health? Keep your co-workers healthy by implementing these simple tips!
For more tips, check out Andrea Metcalf.